Adrian Beltre is the heart of the Texas Rangers.
"I know this baseball game is not going to be forever, so I try to do the best I can to be productive every day,” he said.
He’s hit more than 400 home runs and now has 3000 hits. "I like challenges, I like competition. I always think it’s nothing I can’t do," he said.
To understand how he got here, you have to go all the way back to his roots in the Dominican Republic. He grew up in Santo Domingo, where almost every boy wants to grow up to play baseball. He and his friends found ways to play the game even if it meant making their own baseballs.
“Yes, we are very creative. We find a way to keep ourselves entertained and make baseball out of anything a sock, a tennis ball, anything we have to create a baseball game," he said.
His dad who played baseball in the Dominican was his role model. "I used to watch him play, and he would take me to the fields and watch him play and he was a big influence in my life,” he said.
He was signed by the Dodgers at the age of 15, which was illegal, but Beltre didn’t know it. "I did not know the rules back then, and I was actually 20 days after I turned 15.”
He made his MLB debut at the age of 19. "I was really nervous. I had butterflies in my stomach," Beltre said.
He says he remembers his first time at bat and first hit against the Angels like it was yesterday. "I remember I was facing Chuck Finley. I thought whatever he throws at me I am going to swing at 'cuz I could not feel my body, It was like I was floating," he said.
Now at the age of 38, Beltre is a future Hall of Famer. He says throughout his career, he has emulated players like Derek Jeter who focused on the game and stayed out of trouble.
"I always wanted to be respected in whatever I do,” he said.
And respect is what he has. He enjoys the game and his teammates love him. He has a special bond with shortstop Elvis Andrus.
“So you and Elvis Andrus have a special relationship. I don’t like him,” Beltre jokingly tells WFAA.
Beltre says when he’s at home, he enjoys listening to music and salsa dancing. He is enjoying his life on and off the field.
Beltre says he has more than 3000 reasons to celebrate.
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